Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 24th Jan 2010 17:59 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones This week, both YouTube and Vimeo opened up beta offerings using HTML5 video instead of Flash to bring video content to users. Both of them chose to use the h264 codec, which meant that only Safari and Chrome can play these videos, since firefox doesn't license the h264 codec. Mike Shaver, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, explained on his blog why Mozilla doesn't license the h264 codec.
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summary
by xmv_ on Sun 24th Jan 2010 19:25 UTC
xmv_
Member since:
2006-06-09

- h264 currently require a very expensive license to distribute an encoder/decoder in the USA (other countries?)
- h264 will also require paying to stream content in 2011 (so you pay: for encoding, for decoding, and for the content. triple rip-off ftw)
- h264 patent expires in 2017 (by then, h264 will be obsolete)
- google bought on2 (VP8) probably to pro-actively destroy h265's (the thing after h264) competitor
- theora produce more or less similar stuff as h264 but isnt backed-up by companies since they have no interest into it
- theora lacks hardware acceleration
- using h264 ensure some vendor lock in: you can't setup a youtube competitor without zillion of dollars, firefox can't survive, etc. ultimately, the consumer (US) lose


i think the last thing is the most important

Reply Score: 11

RE: summary
by KAMiKAZOW on Sun 24th Jan 2010 20:23 in reply to "summary"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

h265's (the thing after h264)

Gosh, that's what you get when everybody calls the format by its ITU-T name...
Currently it looks like there will not be a h.265 -- at least not anytime soon.
However, AVC (same codec as h.264, but just with the catchier/handier name used by ISO/MPEG) will likely have a "successor" soon: HVC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-performance_Video_Coding
That "successor" will just be a set of extensions to AVC to make it more suitable for Ultra HD resolutions -- nothing that has anything to do with the web for the foreseeable future.

AVC won't go anywhere for some years to come.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: summary
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon 25th Jan 2010 02:13 in reply to "summary"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Google bought an asset to suppress it in favor of a codec that they have zero financial stake in regarding sales?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: summary
by OSGuy on Mon 25th Jan 2010 07:41 in reply to "summary"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

- google bought on2 (VP8) probably to pro-actively destroy h265's (the thing after h264) competitor

If true, I wonder why would that be.

From: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/guides/2009/12/from-cinepak-to-h265-...

Right now, a standards committee is busy hammering out the details of the H.265 video standard, which is again supposed to cut bitrates in half when compared to the previous top-of-the-line solution and a similar image quality. But another 50 percent objective improvement is hard to come by after so many generations of amazing mathematical acrobatics. This time, the group will settle for a 20 percent improvement in mathematically objective measurements. The rest of the improvements will be subjective.

H.265 will be lossier than H.264, in other words, but lossy in ways that won't be too obvious to humans and our imperfect image-processing brains. Pause an H.265 video and break out the spyglass, and you'll find many technical imperfections compared to older codecs, but it's all about perceived quality when the moving picture is, well, moving.


Edited 2010-01-25 07:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: summary
by werpu on Mon 25th Jan 2010 08:34 in reply to "summary"
werpu Member since:
2006-01-18

- h264 currently require a very expensive license to distribute an encoder/decoder in the USA (other countries?)
- h264 will also require paying to stream content in 2011 (so you pay: for encoding, for decoding, and for the content. triple rip-off ftw)
- h264 patent expires in 2017 (by then, h264 will be obsolete)
- google bought on2 (VP8) probably to pro-actively destroy h265's (the thing after h264) competitor
- theora produce more or less similar stuff as h264 but isnt backed-up by companies since they have no interest into it
- theora lacks hardware acceleration
- using h264 ensure some vendor lock in: you can't setup a youtube competitor without zillion of dollars, firefox can't survive, etc. ultimately, the consumer (US) lose


i think the last thing is the most important


Actually you can say a lot of things about WM9 but the licensing is way better than H264 for the end user (not for the people having to integrate it). A few years ago I had to put a video on the web and tried to opt for H264 I then read all the licensing issues (which are explained here) and shunned away. Even free streaming currently is allowed only for 10 minutes after that you have to pay. WM9 had none of those restrictions, you could use it as you wanted.
So guess what I then opted for.
I just wonder what sites like youtube etc... will do post 2010, I assume that was the reason why Google bought On2, they simply can convert all videos (and probably are doing that by now) to VP8 and then will provide the plugin for all browsers involved.
Others will have bigger issues.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: summary
by wargum on Mon 25th Jan 2010 09:24 in reply to "summary"
wargum Member since:
2006-12-15

I agree that there are a lot of bad things in H.264 licensing. Still, I think it will be the standard of the near future. Don't forget about flash! It supports H.264 as well and is even hardware accelerated now. And flash is there on almost every machine and soon on most smart phones as well. And it plays HW accelerated H.264 on all browsers, including FF. So, in the end I think Mozilla's move will ultimately help flash survive, because YouTube and the likes just can't ignore the large FF user base and will just stick to flash as the standard way of watching video on the net.

Edited 2010-01-25 09:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

h.264 US patents expire in 2028
by jrincayc on Tue 26th Jan 2010 16:11 in reply to "summary"
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

It's worse. There are US MPEG-LA patents that don't expire until 2028, not 2017.

http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-July/02073...

Reply Parent Score: 2